Monday, August 2

The US includes Cuba in the list of sponsors of terrorism


Updated

It had been withdrawn in 2015 by the Barack Obama Administration (2009-2017) during the “thaw” of the bilateral relationship.

A woman walks in front of a graffiti with a revolutionary slogan today, in Havana.
A woman walks in front of a graffiti with a revolutionary slogan today, in Havana.
  • Special Cuba after Fidel

The Administration of the outgoing US president, Donald Trump, on Monday reintegrated Cuba into the list of state sponsors of terrorism, from which it had been withdrawn in 2015 by the Barack Obama Administration (2009-2017) during the “thaw” of the bilateral relationship.

Nine days before Trump leaves the White House, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, released the decision that can potentially complicate the chances of President-elect Joe Biden quickly resuming rapprochement with Havana.

“With this action, once again we will hold the Government of Cuba responsible and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and the subversion of US justice,” Pompeo said in a statement.

The head of US diplomacy justified the return of the island to the list “by repeatedly supporting acts of international terrorism by granting safe haven to terrorists. ”

He added that “the Trump Administration has focused from the beginning on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malicious interference in Venezuela and in the rest of the western hemisphere. ”

Pompeo accused the Cuban government of having “fed, housed and provided medical attention to murderers, bomb makers and kidnappers, while many Cubans are hungry, homeless and do not have basic medicines.”

Specifically, he alluded to Havana’s refusal to extradite ten leaders of the guerrilla Army of National Liberation (ELN), who traveled to the island to hold negotiations with the Colombian government and have been required by that country after the group claimed responsibility in an attack against a police school in Bogot which caused 22 deaths and more than 87 wounded.

“Cuba is also home to several US fugitives wanted by justice or convicted on charges of political violence,” added the Secretary of State, who noted that the island returned to the list “after having broken its commitment to stop supporting terrorism.” .

He also accused Cuba of having been involved “in a series of malicious behaviors throughout the region,” by denouncing that its intelligence and security apparatus “has infiltrated the military and security forces of Venezuela,” and added that it has helped the president of that country, Nicols Maduro, to “maintain his dominion over his people”, while supporting dissidents from the FARC and the ELN in Colombia.

The inclusion of a country on the terrorism black list implies barriers to trade and more sanctions, but all these restrictions already weigh on Cuba due to the commercial and financial embargo. therefore, today’s measure seeks to sanction “people and countries that engage in certain trade with Cuba, restricts US foreign aid, bans defense exports and sales, and imposes certain export controls of dual-use items “, at a time of deep economic crisis for Cubans.

After coming to power, Trump stopped the process of normalization of relations with the island started in 2014 by Obama, of whom Biden was vice president. On November 30, the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodrguez, denounced an alleged “maneuver” by the United States to return Cuba to the list of State sponsors of terrorism, with which it considered it seeks to “please the anti-Cuban minority in the Florida“.

Rodrguez then indicated in his Twitter account that the United States “guarantees refuge and impunity to terrorist groups that act against Cuba from their territory.” Last May, Washington took a step in this direction with the inclusion of Cuba in the list of countries that “do not fully cooperate” with the US counterterrorism efforts, of which they are also part Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

The Cuban government then replied that it is their country that is “victim” of terrorism with the complicity of the US, in reference to the various attacks (from hijacking of aircraft to plans to assassinate leaders) attributed to anti-Castro groups in the last six decades, mainly during the Cold War.

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